honoriartist (honoriartist) wrote,

Finally How to Draw a Bunny

How to draw a bunny has finally arrived in Austin. Showing next week at the Alamo Draft House downtown.

DOWNTOWN:Tues, 6/29, 9:45 - Weds, 6/30, 7:00 & 9:45

John Walter’s How To Draw A Bunny is the kind of movie that creates as much mystery as it resolves. What it does well is answer the obvious question. How do you make a movie about Ray Johnson "the most famous unknown artist in the world?” Easy: you make a whimsical, avant-garde, Dada-documentary collage. You get jazz drummer Max Roach to compose the score. And you interview a who’s who of Johnson’s contemporaries such as Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Christo and Chuck Close, with additional music by Thurston Moore. Ray Johnson jumped off a bridge into the cold waters of Sag Harbour at the age of 67. He staged his death as one more happening in a life full of them. Born in 1927 in Detroit, Johnson was the first to experiment with such things as mail art, a medium that became commonplace many years after his initial forays. He created the New York Correspondence School, a network of poets and artists connected mostly through the postal system. He would send artwork to his friends through the mail. Those friends --- Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, John Cage, Andy Warhol and Willem de Kooning among others --- became major figures of the art movement. Johnson, somehow, did not. His collages included images of Elvis Presley and Mickey Mouse. Warhol and Lichtenstein would become famous for using the images Johnson was the first to pick up on. Johnson was considered by many to be the first Pop Artist. He was heralded as an innovator and influence but that iconic status never seemed to translate into success as measured in the conventional ways. Of course, conventional success was not something Johnson ever courted. He delighted in destroying his work. He owed allegiance to no school, no mentor. He would haggle over the price of a work of art that he would then impulsively give away. A Ray Johnson exhibit opened in New York the same week as the movie started its run. Tragically, it was the first serious retrospective of Johnson's work ever held. (Jeet Thayil)

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